Many people think of a cruise vacation as only for the warm summer months, but planning a cruise for the fall or winter can mean big savings. Fall and winter are both off-season for many cruise destinations which translates to cheaper tickets and special deals. Plus, many fall and winter cruises go to areas that are dramatically different and provide a new experience than summer visits.
Get the most for your fall or winter cruise getaway with these top cruise picks.
Cruise the Caribbean
Fall and winter is the off-season for Caribbean cruises, making this a prime time to book that dream Caribbean cruise. Booking a Caribbean cruise during the off-season means less crowds both on the cruise ship the ports of call. Tickets during the fall and winter months can be hundreds of dollars cheaper than in peak summer months and many cruise lines offer special last-minute deals. Even though fall and winter are the off-season, avoiding booking around the holidays since these weeks generally doesn’t offer the best deals.
Enjoy a Mediterranean Getaway
The Mediterranean offers areas of warm, sunny climate perfect for escaping from cold, dreary winter weather. October through April is a great time to book a Mediterranean cruise as many cruise lines offer stellar deals. If you’re looking for warmer weather this fall or winter, look for cruises to the Canary Islands, Spain or Morocco, as these are the warmer regions of the Mediterranean.
Consider a European River Cruise
Flights to Europe are less expensive during fall and winter months, which can make a European river cruise quite affordable. Not only are flights to Europe generally less expensive during the fall and winter, but so are European river cruises. European river cruises are perfect for travelers with a love for castles and cathedrals as many of these cruises stop along such points of interest. If you plan on booking a European river cruise, be sure to pack plenty of warm clothing since many parts of Europe are very cold during the winter months.
Though September through December is the peak season for Hawaiian cruises, this is still a great time of year to go. Hawaii offers beautiful weather and gorgeous beaches year round with fewer crowds during the fall and winter months. Many cruise lines increase the number of cruises to Hawaii around the end of September and beginning of October. When considering booking a Hawaiian cruise, look for cruises between Thanksgiving and Christmas for the best deals.
Just think, this winter you could be enjoying tapas and sangria in Spain or a piña colada with your toes in the Hawaiian sand. Now’s the time to make your vacation dreams a reality by taking advantage of off-season cruise bargains.
— By Stephanie Willingham
Stephanie Willingham is a contributing writer for a variety of industry blogs. She has professional experience in the medical and financial fields.